I had planned to write today about the trip I took last week. If you recall when I wrote about my trip to see the eclipse last year I talked about my original plan that had to be changed. The plan had been to go and see some Minnesota Twins minor league games along with seeing the eclipse. But that changed not too long before the trip and I ended up going to just see the eclipse with the son of some friends.
This summer I took the baseball portion of the trip from last year. I had thought I would be writing about that trip.
However, I find myself needing to write about other things. I returned from my trip on Sunday evening. On Monday morning I found myself looking at my Facebook feed. Where in rapid succession I found out that it was the fifth anniversary of the death of my friend Karen’s husband, my brother-in-law’s thirteen-year-old chocolate lab, Belle, had to be put to sleep and my friend Duane had suddenly passed away.
I know that not too long ago this would have been an occasion for me to turn inward and relive my own grief. But, I find myself more concerned for the people who were affected by these events than in how they affected me. That’s progress, I suppose. And that doesn’t mean I was unaffected by these events.
I met Karen at a grief support group, and she along with the others in our small group have helped me tremendously.
Belle was always a friendly and was there to greet us whenever we visited. She will be missed.
Duane was a shock to me. He always seemed so solid and vital; it’s hard to imagine him suddenly leaving this world. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ve got a connection with Duane. His son Jeran accompanied me to see the eclipse that I wrote about last year. Also, if any of you were ever in Debbie’s classroom at the Waldorf school you’ve probably seen his handiwork. When Debbie was hired as the first-grade teacher in 2005, Duane made a nature table for her. It was a cross section of part of a tree and the three legs were made from thick branches.
Please say some prayers for those grieving the passing of loved ones.
I'm a bit busy this week, so I'm going to do this Tuesday's post on next Tuesday instead. I'll be able to fill you in on what I'm doing that's got me so busy.
I’ll be voting this Tuesday; there is a primary election in Minnesota. If you’re reading this I would urge you to exercise your responsibility as a citizen and vote.
When I started blogging, I made the decision that I would not use my blog for political writings. That’s evolved into not taking a side as I’ve had two instances where I talked about politics. In one case I wrote about how our Presidential election was looked at from a Tanzanian perspective. (https://www.timkwrites.com/blog/the-election-as-seen-from-tanzania) In another I made a one sentence comment. (I don’t remember what post it was, sorry.)
The reason I decided not to write without taking sides was because I felt that if I were to start making partisan political commentary some people would stop reading because they would disagree with me. And that’s sad that we’ve become that way.
Friendships fail, respect recedes, and wars are waged in comments. Our leaders feel their agenda is the equivalent of “our size fits all” with the emphasis on the ALL. Working together and compromising are disdained. While each feels that their positions will lead to a better country what’s happening is weakening us.
Take a bit of time and think of the most interesting conversations you’ve ever had. Ok, got it. Now, how in how many of those conversations were you talking to yourself. How many times have you been in a class or a meeting and someone else has asked a question that you didn’t think of, but you wanted to hear the answer. One person can’t know all the answers and yet when it comes to discussing politics some want to allow only one point of view.
I saw an article years ago where a study had been done in a manufacturing company. I don’t remember the exact details, but the stat that stood out for me was that if a person who could read at a sixth-grade reading level worked with a person who could read at an eighth-grade reading level together they could understand directions that were written at an eleventh-grade level. (I’m sorry I can’t remember where I saw the article; I’d like to give them proper credit.)
It’s pretty clear that having more than one point of view is a good thing. I think that’s part of why the people who founded our country set up different branches of government with checks and balances.
As we go into another election cycle, it’s my wish that we can be civil and respectful to each other, open to hearing other viewpoints, and enjoy some healthy debates. If you get into a debate that’s healthy make sure to thank everybody involved. Remember, friends can disagree with each other and they can even, gasp, belong to different political parties.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.